Postcards from // Colorado Springs + Denver

Happy, happy birthday to me! Today I celebrated my 22nd birthday by waking up in our cute AirBnB just outside of Denver! Our first expedition of the day was at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs was a few hours south of our AirBnb, so we decided to set off first thing in the morning (after breakfast of course, because who do you think we are). As soon as we exited the metro area of Denver, the weather took a turn for the worse. It started sleeting, and icing while we were on the highway with semi trucks going 75+ mph. It was hella spooky, but we made it to Garden of the Gods (all in one piece!) right as the sun began to emerge. And man oh man, was it a beautiful site! We spent most of the morning climbing around on the rocks and photographing the surrounding area before heading back to one of the many breweries in Denver.

We decided to go to the Great Divide Brewery. It sort of seemed like it was in a sketchy location because there was a lot of road construction happening on the road outside the brewery. However, the inside of the building was super nice and had a great aesthetic for a beer joint. We hit up the taco truck outside before ordering a round of grapefruit beers and settled in for a rather enjoyable birthday lunch.

000445280018

The final stop on our Colorado journey was at the Museum of Contemporary Art – Denver. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge art buff (and I’m actually studying art history in college – say whaaaat?). They had a small exhibit which featured Mexican artists throughout the museum.

We were exhausted once we finally returned to the Airbnb, so we simply ordered takeout sushi and ate dinner whilst watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix.

Honestly, I had the coolest birthday weekend, and I can’t wait to see the many adventures that 22 brings.

 

Favorite Photos of 2017

It’s hard to believe that 2017 is wrapping up already! This year has flown by, and I can’t believe that 2018 will be my last full year in undergraduate school. 2018 promises to be filled with loads of new experiences (including applying for grad schools!), but for now I want to reminisce about 2017. So without further ado, here are some of my most cherished photographs from this year.

Favorite Scenic Photograph:6C2C0133As you may know, my friends and I spent most of our Thanksgiving break road tripping across the country to Colorado. On our first day in Denver, we found ourselves in Eldorado Canyon State Park. This stop wasn’t on our itinerary, and I’m so glad that we found ourselves in the park. We were fortunate enough to be able to see this glorious sunset!

Favorite Portrait (B&W):000446460036

For most of this year I have been working on a 52 Weeks of Film Project, where I use at least one roll of film per week to photograph what is happening in my life. Sami and I both rushed our sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, this past semester and once she heard about the project she graciously offered to sit for some portraits. They totally turned out great, and I’m particularly proud of this one!

Favorite at a Botanical Garden:000445250033

For some reason this year, I found myself at a variety of different botanical gardens. Maybe it was chance, or maybe it was because during the fall semester I was enrolled in a botany course and became mildly obsessed with plants for about 14 weeks. Either way, my love for plants definitely developed this past year, and I even started a mini succulent garden in my college apartment.

Favorite Portrait (color): img_0256

I love being a photographer because I get to meet the coolest people! Ally is no exception! Ally is a life long lover of golf, so of course we had her session at her local course. I had so much fun learning about golf, and getting to know Ally. Best of all, look at how awesome the light is on her face and hair in this shot – proud photog moment for sure!

Favorite Portrait (film): 
tumblr_otrsb5LPRc1wrniwbo1_1280
I’ve been doing digital photography since high school, but I just started doing film this year. The learning curve has been pretty steep, but I think that finally (6 months later!) I’ve finally gotten the hang of it. This photo of my lovely pal was one of the first film portraits that I took that I was remotely proud of.

Favorite Eclectic Photograph: 6C2C0374cpy

My photography style typically involves up close headshots, and very little background. However, when Halee wanted to take photos at an adorable antique shop in downtown St. Charles I couldn’t say no to capturing all of the surroundings at the shop!

Favorite Photographs on Campus: 

 

By far the worst thing about going to school in a small town is how suffocating campus can be. Sometimes it feels like you see and do the same things over and over again, until you’re able to leave for a school break. However, I convinced my friends to let me photograph them on campus. Not only did I have a great time hanging out with my friends, but I also loved getting to see my campus in a new light.

Favorite Travel Memory:

cropped-tumblr_oqfmowtbdt1v0i18zo1_5001.png

I would consider traveling to be one of the best (and important) parts of my life. I think that experiencing new cultures is something that we should all definitely do as much as possible. I’m incredibly lucky that I was able to travel to a variety of new places this year, but my favorite was by far Monterrey, California. My friend and I spent hours and hours exploring the fishermen’s wharf, and it was one of the coolest places that I’ve been in a while.

Favorite Duo Photograph:6C2C6260

I feel like this may be one of my favorite photographs that I have ever taken. I don’t have any reason why in particular, but I just adore it oh so much. Plus, have you seen Mack’s pup – LOVE!

Favorite Candid Photograph:41110009Every September my mom and her boyfriend have a Labor Day celebration at their home. Their hometown has a balloon derby that weekend as well, so it’s always a good time. This year both of my roommates, and my friend from my time at Mizzou and her boyfriend all voyaged to my parents house to hang out and enjoy the last bits of summer together.

Famous Friday // A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

asaotiolagj.jpg
Georges Surat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884-86, oil on canvas, 3079.75in x h2076.45in. Location: Art Institute of Chicago.

Over this past summer I took a writing intensive course for my degree about chess. The class culminated in a long research paper comparing and contrasting chess to something else. For my essay, I chose to write about chess and art. Long story short, I used Surat’s oil painting to help convey the similarities between art and chess – perks of going to a liberal arts school!

Anyways, on to the art we go! This work is Surat’s largest and most famous work of art, and one of the best examples of pointillism technique. The work itself depicts a relaxing afternoon on an island on the outskirts of Paris.

Screen Shot 2017-12-17 at 2.43.19 PM
See where the island is located outside of Paris!

Seurat spent many afternoons sitting and drawing in the park to perfect the form of his figures. At first glance we see a variety of individuals relaxing. To the right, a couple is on a leisurely stroll. To the left, we see a woman fishing, as well as people sailing along the Seine River. With further inspection, however, the viewer is able to see that not everything is as it seems in the painting. The woman who appeared at first glance to be on a leisurely walk with her husband is actually walking a monkey. It was uncommon for women of this time to go fishing, so the woman depicted fishing was possibly an euphemism for prositution. A young girl in a white dress stands in the center of the work. She is asking possibly the viewers what will become of the individuals, and the class of people who are represented in this image.

Seurat was highly influenced by scientific studies of color theory and in particular by the work of Michel-Eugène Chevreul. Together with several other artists, Seurat developed the technique of pointillism. Pointillism breaks down colors into their respective hues in order to simulate natural light in the eye of the viewer. This is the technique that Seurat used in A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Pointillism makes Seurat’s work particularly interesting because of how he was able to manipulate color and light.

In most paintings shadows are depicted by using black, however this is not the case with Seurat’s work. Seurat was instead able to trick the viewers eye into thinking that it was viewing shadows by defining these darker areas with the colors that they come into contact with instead of a solid black.

 

Postcards from // Denver

Minus the huge amount of snow and wind in Rocky Mountain National Park, the weather was nearly perfect in Denver, especially for late November. In order to take advantage of this, we decided to head to the Denver Botanical Garden on Monday morning. Even for late fall, the garden was spectacular. The tropical conservatory and the Japanese garden were definitely my two favorite sub gardens. The tropical conservatory was obviously indoors, so it wasn’t effected by the upcoming winter in the ways that the outdoor gardens were. They had a wide array of flowers and trees in the indoor space. Unbeknownst to many, we discuss a wide variety of gardens in many art history courses. One of my favorite garden types is the Japanese garden.

 

We definitely worked up an appetite wandering around all of the paths at the botanical garden, so we headed to Denver Central Market for lunch. There were around 10 spectate vendors in the interior space of the market. They served everything from artisanal chocolates and pastries, to BBQ and Italian cuisine. The interior of the building was decorated with hispter eclecticism. Stainless steel countertops, fashionable lighting, and neon signs stole the show. I decided to get the lemon ravioli at Vero, the Italian joint. In no way was my meal traditional Italian cuisine, but it was so good!img_0399-1

To burn off all of our lunch calories, we headed to the Museum of Science and Nature. Before we even saw the museum, we knew it was going to be crowded! We barley found a parking spot, and nearly ran over several small families who decided that darting across a busy street was a good idea. That being said, I am a museum person, meaning that I could spend my entire life going in and out of museums and be perfectly content. The Science and Nature museum had a wide array of exhibits from astronomy to dinosaurs and the human body. My favorite was Exhibition Health. Basically, when you entered the exhibit you got a little card which was your identification and you swiped it at each station. There were a bunch of different stations that measured your heart rate, your cardiovascular health, your height, and your arm span. But, the show stopper was the Genetics of Taste Lab. We participated in their study, where they are researching savory and sour flavors. The lab gave us each 5 different samples of liquid flavors which were either flavorless, sweet, sour, or savory. We marked how each sample tasted on a program. Most of my samples were flavorless or tasted a lot like beef, which was a wild ride for a 5 year vegetarian.

The sun was setting over Denver as we left the museum, so we walked along a nearby pond to admire the sunset on the mountains before heading to dinner at Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey. Since we went on Monday, it was happy hour and we splurged on guac and some really great margs as well as some of the most tasty tacos ever.

Wanna read more about my Colorado adventure? Check out these posts!